Sweet serenade cuts the hospital air in such a monotone, it’s almost transgenic.
“Mutinda is here!”
My hospital bedmate becks for me to wake up and move to her bed to get a better listen. I politely reject her sweet offer as my medication weighs in heavily. She understood the aspects of me that not many relate to or quite grasp. Her heavy Kamba accent and high pitched voice keeps all the sick people away from her yard. Mwende is a middle aged woman with a back problem but not when Mutinda is playing.
His sleek polished guitar rests subtly on one of his legs with his right arm going over it. One with a good eye could see the lines etched by the guitar strings on his fingertips but with sickness looming in the air nobody really focuses that intently.
In a similar way to Ed Sheeran, Mutinda starts off his tunes with a certain aura of dispersed melancholy that draws us in and pulls us out leaving our souls bear and wanting. His acute skillset takes us to different dimensions of love, hate mixed with fear and then again filled with the same love.
Still in bed peering through the little gap Mwende left, stealing glimpses here and there before my medication sweeps me into nothingness. Nurses and patients move in light motions and only in dire cases to avoid disturbing the musician or losing a note of the music.
The shift of tunes from one song to the next showed clear indication that the communication between a musician and his audience is beyond words. His ability to grasp all our attention in minutes and drain our pain with such ease and grace was staggeringly supernatural. He made the uncountable and the irrational prove irresistible.
Mutinda is about 22 or 23 years. He appeared to be closer to the ground than the sky whenever a female nurse passed near him. Almost easy to overlook when you bump into him in the streets but boy oh boy! He gives the resounding sound your heart bleeds to whenever you mind is at ease. He speaks rather eloquently but with short precise sentences perhaps because it’s a hospital and not a pub. His sleek guitar is different shades of brown; slightly taupe with black finishing. The glossy look of his instrument reflected the number of zeros on the price tag or maybe a good keeper. \ladies hehe
Mwende, the patient next to me, often called him “wakwitu” and he would gleefully smile back at her in acknowledgement but with certain reserve not to make it about himself.
Amazing does not describe the impact he had on the patients; it does not even come close. His music was purely transgenic and his aura was quenched with a gentleman’s touch.
He finishes off by bidding us goodbye and assures us of one more performance the following day before he departs for the Nairobi Women’s Nakuru branch.
Before his exit, a patient grabs him to replay her favorite oldie song one last time. He smiles and appreciates the invite and plays on until I was somewhere between chasing clouds and wishing my boyfriend was present.
Mwende chats away asking a trail of questions